The best way to make a woman feel beautiful is to take a photo of her. And the best way to make that photo look stunning is by adding some glamour. In this post I want to share some easy tips for getting great glamour shots with your portrait photography!
A catchlight is a reflective highlight in the eyes of your subject. It’s especially important in glamour shots because it helps to draw attention to the subject’s naturally beautiful eyes. Plus, even if your shoot is indoors and you don’t have much (or any) natural light coming through, adding a simple reflector will make sure that at least one of the eyes has a catchlight, even if it’s only a faint one.
And for more tips on portrait photography lighting, check out this article here.
If you use lighting properly, you can easily create depth in your image which will make it much more interesting to look at. A simple trick for adding a little extra depth is to have your subject lean forward a little bit so that you can see more of the hair in front and less hair in back, drawing attention to the face. This also gives off that “falling away” look which makes the photo feel dramatic and interesting.
Another simple trick for creating depth is to shoot from an angle that’s a little bit higher than your subject. The hair will fall down into the back of your shot, adding another layer to the scene and drawing even more attention to the gorgeous face in front.
Sometimes you can take things too far with this technique though. If you get too low, the perspective can actually start to look a little bit odd and unnatural, which is not what you want in a glamour shot!
So, for these types of photos, it’s best to shoot from a little bit above your subject rather than way down low so that the perspective looks natural instead of forced.
Even if you’re not shooting a typical glamour model, you can still take advantage of curves in your regular portrait photography. Instead of making your subject look like they have absolutely no body at all, try to use some tricks to enhance their natural shape and help them feel more comfortable.
For example, you can grab on to their waist while shooting for some shots, or place your hand (gently) on their hip as you shoot. This will make them feel like they have a little more shape and encourage them to stand up straight even if it feels weird at first.
Additionally, you can try bending the elbow closest to the camera and bringing it in a little bit so that it looks like the subject is having their arm wrapped around their waist, or tilting your camera up a little to thin out the face and create a more dramatic portrait.
Yes, I know being down at ground level seems weird for shooting a woman who’s just standing there, but trust me it works! Sometimes this can even help put your subject at ease if they’re really nervous about being shot from below because you make them feel smaller. Plus, if you frame things properly you can use some of those lines from the body to create an attractive composition rather than making them look dumpy as they usually do when shot from eye-level.
Of course, if your subject is wearing heels this obviously won’t work, but other than that you can always try getting down at eye-level with your subject.
You don’t have to shoot 4ft away all the time! Try moving in a little bit so that you can see their eyes better and actually see their face instead of just a blur. This will help draw attention to their facial features which is exactly what you want for an intimate portrait like this one.
Note: Remember to let them know before you take the photo so that they relax into it instead of being startled when you pull the camera up close. You don’t want them to give off that deer-in-headlights look here
If you’re still having trouble getting the shot you want, your best bet is to get a friend or assistant involved. If you’re shooting alone like I am in this example, try asking them to come pose behind you and talk with your subject for a few minutes while you get things ready. You can also ask them to slowly move closer until they find an angle that works for them!
Even if it’s just one person on the other side of the camera this will be enough to help bring some life into your photos and add some variety at least!
The more photos you take, the more you risk having some blurry ones in there which is never good! So instead of taking 100 photos of an outfit change, only take ten or so and then spend the rest of that time just posing your model instead.
Also be sure to take breaks in between if needed so that your subject doesn’t get too tired out from all the extra standing.
Their Best Feature Your subject might have a really nice smile, or gorgeous eyes so don’t ignore them! Try to shoot close-ups of these features even if you’re taking other parts of their body into account, like when I’m focusing on the arm in my example here. This will make your photos more dynamic and add variety which is key for this type of portrait photography.
It’s also important to remember what kind of outfit is going on here when you lose your subject. If you’re going for a classy look, go ahead and have them stand up straight with a pretty smile, but if you’re going for a more edgy or fashion-forward outfit you can have them slouch a little bit, or lean against something to create an interesting angle.
The fashion industry is all about details so this will help your photos fit in well with the rest of what they do! It’ll also make sure that their outfit isn’t being overshadowed by good hair and lighting alone.
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